Saturday, October 28, 2017

Lady Godiva (1891)

Jules Joseph Lefebvre: Lady Godiva

Exhibited at the 1890 Salon (official art exhibition of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris), this immense (6.2 x 3.9m) oil painting dated 1891 portrays the story of Lady Godiva, a famous 11th century English princess. Married to Leofric, the Earl of Mercia and lord of Coventry, she begged her husband to relieve the townspeople of the oppressive taxes and tolls. He refused, unless she agree to ride through the town naked on horseback. Out of respect for their lady, it is said, the townspeople stayed indoors during her ride. Jules Lefebvre’s painting shows Lady Godiva during her ride through the deserted town. [Amiens]

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